Saturday, August 9, 2008

Four GFA missionaries granted bail but awaiting release

India-The four Gospel for Asia missionaries that were thrown in jail after being attacked by a mob of anti-Christian extremists have officially been granted bail.However, there are several obstacles that must be conquered before the believers can be released.Missionaries Yohan Samuel, Raj Lohra, Nanji Bir and Shobha Joshi were arrested and charged with attempting to force people to convert to Christianity and with "offending the sentiments of the people." The men will remain under lockdown until the judge returns from vacation to approve their release.On Tuesday, after several days of negotiations, the judge issued the bail order.However, some unusual conditions applied. They were as follows:
-Post bail money.
-Five local landowners with extensive holdings must sign off on their release.
-A certified local government official must sign off on their release.
While GFA leaders were able to meet the requirements, the judge won't return from vacation until at least August 8.The missionaries, three of which are Bible college students doing their internship, were attacked during a prayer meeting at Yohan's residence around 9 p.m. on July 31. A mob of approximately 700 people showed up and began harassing them, and after being brutally beaten, the believers were thrown in jail.One of the missionaries said to a GFA leader who visited them: "We are so happy that God protected us. We are rejoicing here with the Lord. But pray for our bodies; we were beaten quite badly. Please pray that we would receive healing." GFA leaders who appealed on behalf of the missionaries arrived in the town the day after the arrests, only to find heavy opposition. The anti-Christian extremists responsible for the attack had organized protest rallies and called for a local strike, which could cripple any government and business work.They also threatened local lawyers to discourage them from taking on the missionaries' case.Although GFA leaders did manage to find legal representation, anti-Christians have been working against them since the beginning of the case. Lawyers weren't able to meet with the judge until the missionaries had been in jail for a few days.
As in the das of Noah.....

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